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Low Cost Dental Root Canal Treatment

By Susan Braden

If one of your teeth has been infected, then you will likely need a root canal. The very thought of this procedure scares many people, both physically and financially. Many patients have heard horror stories about the pain and expensive price of a root canal. If you would like more information about the steps of a root canal treatment, here is what you can expect your dentist to do to your tooth.

Table of Contents

Root Canal Treatment

1. Rubber dam placement.

After your dentist numbs your affected tooth, he or she will stretch a sheet of rubber around it, called a “rubber dam.” The primary purpose of a root canal is to clean bacteria out of your tooth. Since saliva contains bacteria, the rubber dam keeps your tooth saliva-free so as not to recontaminate it while the procedure is being performed.

2. Accessing the nerve area.

Your dentist must next access the infected area where your tooth's nerve tissue resides. Your dentist will use a drill to reach down to your tooth's pulp chamber. For a molar, this hole will be drilled through the chewing surface; for a front tooth, the access hole will be created on the back of the tooth.

3. Cleaning your tooth out.

Next your dentist will clean out the pulp chamber and root canals in the tooth's interior. This is primarily accomplished by using “root canal files,” and by irrigating the tooth. The dentist will move the file up and down the tooth's interior in a twisting motion. This action scrapes and scrubs the sides of your tooth’s root chambers, thus cleaning out any bacteria, toxins, nerve tissue and related debris inside. With an irrigation process, your dentist will wash your tooth out periodically to flush out any excess debris.

4. Follow up procedures.

After this procedure is complete, the dentist may either cap the hole with a crown, or seal it with a rubber compound called gutta percha and a sealer, which will work together to fill the area that has been cleaned out. If you need these follow-up procedures, you may need to visit your dentist on more than one occasion, depending on your tooth's complexity. This is typically an additional cost to the price of the root canal, however a discount plan or insurance can help cover this additional charge.

This procedure is not particularly painful, contrary to popular belief, and might not be as expensive as you may hear. If you have access to a dental plan or insurance, you could actually receive a very cheap root canal. If you are experiencing discomfort in one of your teeth, it would be wise to make an appointment with a low cost dental plan provider to see if a root canal is necessary. The sooner you address an infected tooth, the less expensive and time consuming your procedure will be.

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How Much does it Cost?

Without a dental plan, root canals could get pretty expensive considering that there are a few separate things for which you must pay.

  • The root canal itself typically costs about $650-$770, though it can go up if the tooth is a molar.
  • In addition, crowns can cost anywhere from $830 to $1150, depending on the location and the type of crown you receive.
  • There may also be additional costs for things like X-rays or anesthesia.

This can add up to a lot of money if you have no dental coverage. However, discount plans such as the Careington Care 500 Series can help save you up to 60% or more on procedures like root canals.

  • With this plan, the price of a root canal ranges from about $270-$400 with a general dentist.
  • The price of a crown ranges from about $400-$570 on the plan.

If you need a root canal, you may want to look into getting a discount plan to help cut down the costs and make your dental work more affordable.

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Why Might I Need a Root Canal?

The most common causes of root canal infections are:,/p>

  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Deep or widespread decay
  • Repeated or large fillings
  • Multiple procedures on the tooth
  • Repeated irritation of the area
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Can My Dentist Perform a Root Canal?

All dentists are trained to perform root canal treatment in dental school. Despite this fact, not all general dentists offer the procedure at their practice. Those that do, however, typically have cheaper prices for the procedure than seeing a specialist. However, even if your general dentist does perform endodontic therapy, he may refer you to a specialist called an endodontist if he does not feel comfortable performing the treatment. Endodontists are also better trained for the trickier procedures.

While seeing a specialist is typically more expensive,endodontists have received extra training in performing root canals by receiving additional education after completing dental school. If you are more comfortable with a more experienced dentist, you may find that an endodontist is worth the extra money.

Learn about Affordable Dental Plans

A root canal treatment can seem frightening at first, but once you are familiar with the procedure, it will seem a lot less intimidating. Because the bacteria can spread to the rest of your mouth, be sure to talk to your dentist about your options if you think you might need a root canal. Doing so will greatly improve your oral health as well as your overall wellness.

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